Saint-Didier primary school

Cycle 2 : tutorial system

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This year, there are 13, 2 and 6 children in the first, second and third years of cycle 2. This highly uneven distribution led me to install a tutorial system involving the children, whereby every child in Primary Year 1 or 2 is responsible for one or two Nursery Year 4 children. The system has two major purposes:

• To aid learning. This fits in with my own conviction that the teacher must not be the only source of knowledge for the pupil. The children can learn a lot from their classmates, or from slightly older children. The children in the tutor role also benefit: by explaining or speaking about what they know or by checking work, they reinforce their own knowledge. This is especially true when, as is the case, the age difference is very slight.

• To encourage team working. When working in groups of two or three, each child has to consider the age and abilities of the other group members so that everyone can contribute in their own way.




This is how the tutorial system is implemented:

On the first day of class, every Nursery child chose their tutor as follows. I first organised a drama class in the sports hall, designed to make the children get to know one another, to become confident and to gain courage to approach the others. At the end of this activity, the Nursery children were split into two groups. One by one, the children in the first group were told to go and stand next to their desired tutor. If both sides agreed, they sat down together. Paired up Primary Year 2 children then returned and the whole process was repeated with the second group of Nursery children. In this way, Primary Year 1 children had one Nursery Child while the Primary Year 2 children had one or two.

The first activity in the tutorial was to colour in the evaluation staircase. Every child had to colour in their staircase. The tutor explained how the evaluation system worked, and taught the younger child how to colour in properly. At the end, several of the tutors were delighted with the work of their 'child'.



What must tutors do?

explain things to their children

show things to their children

help their children

teach their children

encourage their children

think for themselves

A few days later, I had a session with the tutors about the rules of tutoring. After emphasising the importance of their role, I asked them to define a tutorial system. They had a great deal to say. They knew how it worked because they had had a tutor in previous years. They stressed what must be done, and also what must not be done. I wrote down their rules on a poster as they spoke so that they could consult them throughout the year.

I often use the tutorial system as a learning aid, for example:

• Learn to play a mathematical game;

• Write the endpage of a notebook;

• Borrow a book from the library;

• Find the right page in the diary;

• Find one's file in numerations-operations;

• Read P’tit Crack (the school newspaper) for the Top Journal;

• Choose an evaluation system…

The effects of this system, based on several years' experience, are evident: the pupils work well in groups, they have learnt more effectively, and, furthermore, they know and respect one another more.

Corinne Famelart

What must tutors not do?

Make fun of their children

Do their children's work for them

Disturb their children

Stress their children

Discourage their children

Complain to the teacher continually

Abandon their children

Help their children too much

This page has been translated from French by Andreas Theodorou.






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summary > school > cycle 2 

Last Update :05/11/05